Some farmers, chiefs and opinion leaders in the Northern Region have petitioned President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to grant a Letter of Intent to the owners of Alafei Foods to enable them source funding to establish their industrial base in the Yendi municipality under the One District-One Factory flagship initiative.
The petitioners, largely farmers, believe this will enable Alafei Foods to partner with about 30,000 smallholder farmers in the area to grow substantial soya and vegetables to meet the protein and vitamin needs of schoolchildren and also improve their economic livelihood.
The petition, which has been presented to the Northern Regional School Feeding Programme Coordinator, Felicia Tetteh, will be submitted to the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
Speaking to Class News’ regional correspondent, Mohammed Gaddafi, the Managing Director of Alafei Foods, Mr Claude Convisser disclosed that in two weeks, 5000 people in the Northern Region have signed the petition titled: “Northern Jobs for Northern Farmers” calling upon the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection to sign a non-binding letter of intent which will allow Alafei Foods to secure GHS156,000,000 from international sources to establish a large manufacturing facility in the Yendi municipality.
He indicated that the company is not asking the government for any financial support but simply, a letter of intent from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to assure the investors that the company can sell its products to the Ghana School Feeding Programme.
Mr Convisser explained that the vegetables would be grown by female farmers in the area with solar-powered boreholes to contain soya-textured protein.
They will be processed at the central industrial facility in Yendi.
The soya-textured protein products, he explained, would allow the government to claim the credit for guaranteeing the daily nutrition requirements of 150,000 students on a daily basis.
“As we know, child nutrition is endemic in the north and we believe that our product, if delivered to every single schoolchild, can alleviate that to a great degree”, Mr Convisser insisted.
He lamented that several attempts and efforts, since March 2018 to get the government to approve this proposal, have failed, only for the ministry to give the favour to another company based in Sunyani to supply the same product to the school feeding programme. He noted that if this continues, then all the job opportunities will go to Sunyani and the Northern Region will continue to register a rate of high unemployment.